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Wednesday, June 19
The Indiana Daily Student

'Fuzz' not as hot as it could be

Simon Pegg and Nick Frost enjoy a tasty treat together. Hey it beats being eaten by zombies.

"Hot Fuzz" is a genre-blending film with lively style and has a lot in common with Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost's earlier collaboration, "Shaun of the Dead." In fact, if I were inclined to take the harshest possible stance in light of the commonalities between the two films, I would say that with "Hot Fuzz," Wright and Frost are trying to recapture the success of their earlier work by copying it. Only this time it is about cops instead of zombies. \nAnother way of understanding the relationship between the two films would be to see them as part of what is growing into a cohesive body of work by Pegg and Wright. It's similar to the mockumentaries by Christopher Guest and company, which all have the same style and sensibility but delightfully different subject matter. My opinion falls between these two possible judgments, a little more toward the former than the latter, though I wish it were the other way around. \nOne important way in which "Hot Fuzz' is different than "Shaun of the Dead" is that while "Shaun of the Dead" focuses a great deal on the main characters' relationships and this is one of the film's strong suits, "Hot Fuzz" is about a man who has trouble maintaining relationships and the film's focal point is action rather than personal dynamics. "Hot Fuzz" has some especially worthwhile gun fight sequences that perfectly fuse action, suspense and comedy in the way that the rest of the film attempts to but sometimes doesn't quite do right. \nThe only well-developed relationship is between the characters played by Pegg and Frost. Pegg is good as protagonist Nicholas Angel, a zealous British police officer frustrated by his re-assignment from London to a small town where crime is not apparently a serious concern. Frost is believable but not particularly impressive as Angel's cumbersome but ultimately endearing new partner. He is basically playing the same role as he did in "Shaun of the Dead," which is disappointing because it would have been nice to see Frost mix things up a little bit. \nUltimately, I have mixed feelings about "Hot Fuzz." It is nowhere as near as good as "Shaun of the Dead" and it has some damaging flaws, as mentioned above. However, it is entertaining, certainly more so than the majority of films in theaters right now.

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